The MAD Goddess writes out loud with candor and humor about the changing landscape of life for women with retired husbands,
adult children, and grandchildren. It's not always a pretty story,
but it's usually pretty funny.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

DRIVING MS BLINDASABAT - The saga of aging and cars continues.

I had dinner with two high school chums this past weekend.  We had a blast from the past.  By a huge (wait -  HUGE) stretch of the imagination, you might say we felt like Barbie, Ken and Midge. Of course, you'd have to imagine the threesome age appropriate, not frozen in plastic.  And you'd have to imagine that trips to the soda shop were code for bar hopping.  And you'd have to imagine that those yummy looking ice cream beverages had no less than three shots of rum in them.

Hey, that's what Barbie was all about, right?  A girl using her imagination.

So, this past Saturday Ken cooked for Barbie and I, and we all ate heartily. No skinny model fare for these aging dolls, we partook of roast pork and potatoes in gravy and washed it all down with red wine and beer.  Well, they drank beer. I drank the wine, the whole bottle, by myself.  Beer makes me bloat.

I brought dessert, which we forgot to eat because we were busy finishing off the shrimp appetizers – two kinds.  Of course, if we’d had the leisure of more time I’m sure we would have gotten to my dessert . . . and I to the second bottle of wine.

“What was the rush?” you might wonder. Our chauffeured four door ride arrived on schedule to pick us up.  I mention it was four doors because I totally embarrassed myself earlier in the evening proving that point.

Upon setting out for our friendly tête à tête I opened the front passenger door, pulled the seat lever to allow me into the back seat, the polite thing to do since our driver was Barbie’s hubby, and was quite confused.

The seat didn’t slide forward to allow me access.  How could I possibly maneuver my ample, aging middle aged Midge body through that tiny crack of space between front seat and car frame?  Then it dawned on my slightly sluggish brain that this must be a four-door sedan.

Yes, indeed, there was a back door for the back seat into which I climbed, laughing at my own foible.  Not quite as hard as Barbie was laughing though – that bitch.

I mean, it’s not like she can see any better than myself.  Which is exactly the reason why her accommodating hubby was driving us 25 miles to our dinner destination with another man, and then returning to pick us up at the appointed time.

“You’ll have to drive,” she said to me when we made our plans.  “I have terrible night vision."

“Me?  Drive?  I won’t be able to have any wine.”  It was of course an excuse, and the jig was up the minute I tried to shimmy my ample ass into her backseat from the front door of the car . . . in broad daylight.

Can’t find my car in the parking lots, can’t drive after dark, can’t afford a full time chauffeur.  Good thing our hubbies take such good care of us.  You see, it wasn’t just Barbie’s wedded beau.  My darling spouse made up the second half of the relay, picking me up at end of evening at Barbie’s pad and safely delivering me the rest of the way home.

This is truly sad. Not only do I lose my car in average sized parking lots in the middle of the day, now I can't drive the dang thing after dark.
I think for our anniversary I’m going to buy him a black leather jacket and one of those jaunty chauffeur’s caps. The alternative of course, if for Ken,
 Barbie and Midge to just start having sleep-overs.

. . .. . mid
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Bab's requested this updated photo of her to be posted.  Your wish is my command, dear friend.

And I had to add this one - not sure if it's that little Midgens but the hair color and wrinkles are about right.

Finally, Ken in all his gray haired glory (and his bitch on a leash).

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I told my daughter, a stay at home mom to two of my four grandchildren, that she has to get out of the house more often. She told me that was the old mom calling the young mom stuck in a rut.

Since entering semi-retirement, I haven’t ventured far from the comforts of my country confines during these past winter months. I even managed to take all of my degree courses online this semester and the thirty-five mile trips to have lunch with a friend and do a little shopping have dwindled down to none.

Even the lure of spending less on groceries and other necessities doesn’t tempt me the way it does in summer months. But the recent warming temperatures that promise spring and hint at summer bring cabin fever. So when daughter called to say she had a childless afternoon on her hands,it was all the prodding I needed to agree to a chicks’ day out.

You know the chicks have been cooped up too long when they get lost in not one, but three shopping area parking lots.

My hubby tells me that the alarm on the key fob works like a charm for locating misplaced vehicles. Of course, that’s after he asks me why I don’t make a mental note of where I park when I get out of the car. His mistake is in assuming that I don’t. Like cheap sticky notes with inferior glue, my cerebral reminders just don’t stay put.

Besides, pressing that little button is way too close to having one of those "Help me I've fallen down and can't get up," alarms dangling around my neck.

I mentioned the car alarm trick to my daughter and she asked why I wasn’t pressing the button. What? And draw attention to my forgetfulness obviously brought on by advancing age?

She agreed that the two of us wandering around a parking lot shouting to each other from two lanes away didn’t draw attention. She gets her sarcasm from me.

“I guess you had your eyes closed when we parked.” I said.

She responded that she never pays attention to where she parks. Why would she? The vehicle her hubby and she chose to accommodate two active kids and all their trappings is so large she can spot it from a block away. I practically need a step ladder to climb into the monster and elevation nosebleeds can't be ruled out.

She can be smug now, but she only has a year left of her twenties. It won't be long before her eyesight goes the way of her size skinny jeans and she won't be able to rely on the crutch of clear vision any more.

Things change as we get older. We become more thoughtful, we develop a desire to make a difference, we hone in on the important things in life. I like to think that my preference to keep my business local is based in those maturing values.

Things have become less important to me than people. Community is like a family. I like chatting with my neighbor who works the checkout at the grocery store. I like seeing the familiar faces of the couple that owns the hardware. I like being greeted with a smile and called by name.

It seems like a lifetime ago that I could wind my way around any expressway cloverleaf, make a fast lane change to an exit or entrance ramp, and find an access road to arrive at the Mecca of a suburban shopping mall. Now, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort.

Okay, so maybe the truth is that I don’t like driving in “the big city”. But by navigating my way through the maze of traffic lanes and poorly planned parking lots of an urban shopping center, even one as tame as that in our nearest city, what can I find there that I can’t find closer to my rural home?

Obviously not my car.

. . . . . mid
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